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tv   [untitled]    April 9, 2014 7:00pm-7:31pm PDT

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parking. it's really been a challenge and i have gotten a lot of complaints as you and i have discussed before. i guess i'm just trying to understand how are we going to convince voters to support that especially drivers and to agree to pay a lot of money that they don't necessarily have to pay but specifically for improvements. the bureaucratic answer i know is one that internally we understand the need, but how do you tell the average everyday person, you know, why this is so important and how this is going to make things better for them? >> yes, so through the chair, i appreciate that concern and i think it's a very valid and legitimate. i don't think it
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would be appropriate for me to talk about how to convince voters to do one thing or another. to clarify the at least the current proposed use of the additional general fund revenues that increase in the vehicle license fee would create would be the majority would be for street resurfacing. the balance would be for improving muni and improving bike and pedestrian safety. not to convince anybody but everybody benefits from smoother streets in terms of why there is an impact and to the cost to your vehicle to the unsafety of having deteriorating crosswalks for pedestrians and also everybody including drivers benefit from a stronger muni system and safer streets for bikes and pedestrians. the more people that are riding muni or riding a bike or choosing to get
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around on foot that is you as a driver competing for that space or parking space as well as the fact that safer we can make our streets, the more we can rationalize and better allocate the space so we are reducing conflicts. that benefits everyone. no one wants to get behind the wheel of a car that hits -- >>supervisor london breed: i got that and by not having an alternative plan, it sounds like we are taking this for granted that this is going to actually pass. i'm concerned about the uncertainty and making sure we are prepared as a city for either situation. clearly, we are prepared to spend the money, but we are not prepared to do what's necessary if we don't get the money. so that's what i'm most concerned about. >> yeah, i hear your point.
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it's something we discussed with the transportation committee and some of the other city assets that we are responsible for stewarding. before the mayor convened this task force we didn't have a plan a for how we are going to close this gap. now we have a plan a and we have some leveraging dollars to take this further such as regional dollars and the metropolitan transportation commission has already taken. we are assuming these, at least in the first 2 pieces in our capital budget, if those revenues don't come forth and there absolutely is uncertainty, we'll have to bring that back in the capital planning process and regroup and see if there is a different way to close the gap. before we had no plan to close the gap and now we have a plan a and we'll have to see what comes in november to
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determine the extent to which we need to go to a plan b. the task force they did look at a number of solutions. these were the ones that rows -- rose to the top. it's what we have at the moment. >> okay. >> supervisor wiener? >>supervisor scott weiner: i'm going to actually reframe mr. riskin's response. plan b is that muni continues on its depth spiral. we have the capital state of repair needs for decades. we have not put the finishing ed -- funding in that this system needs and this system that now carries 700,000 rides a day. we have a $10 billion need in the next 15 years. that's $10 billion
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with a b, and we only have about a third of that identified. it's not just muni. bart is in even bigger bad situation. ac transit is in a bad situation. we know the federal government is not stepping up the way it needs to. we have to do it locally. if this task force, if these recommendations don't happen, in california we have to go to the voters. we have no choice but to go to the voters and there is always uncertainty when you have to go to the voters because the voters will make their decision and will live with that decision whatever it is. if this doesn't happen because it falls part in city hall or get taxed to death from every conceivable political angle and we've seen that already from every political spectrum and it gets ripped apart in city hall or develops at the ballot box that is money that
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will come directly out of the reliability of this system. as we are adding population down east part of the city and mission bay, we are not going to have the funds we need to build the capacity. the subway will continue to deteriorate and we'll continue to struggle. that's why i think this is so important. i also just want to -- i have a somewhat different perspective in terms of cars. i say this as someone, i take muni most of the time, but i do have a car as well that i drive from time to time. the fact is that when you look at the idea of that cars are shouldering all the burden, the federal gas tax is exactly the same as it was in 1993. it's not even going up by inflation. it's exactly the same today. if you look at inflation over 20 years, the federal gas tax drivers are paying now is
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something like half in real terms what it was in 1993. the vehicle license fee that i pay and that everyone pays is a little more about 1/3 today than what it was in 2003 when arnold swartzeneger slashed it by 2/3 and took from california. we are paying more and paying lower gas tax and meanwhile we have continuing increasing needs in terms of our highways and city streets and our transit systems. i think it's completely reasonable to say that the driver should bear part of the burden. property taxes will bare part of burden. right now it's transit riders that
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have the burden with an unreliable system. i understand all the perspectives. i think this is really important. >>supervisor london breed: just to respond to that. i mean, really supervisor wiener, you are preaching to the choir. internally as supervisors it's our responsibility as leaders to look at what's necessary and project out what the challenges are and how we can provide options for the public to decide on things we need to do. but we are also dealing with people who feel that there are a lot of challenges and mr. riskin and i continue to talk about those challenges including locations that meters are and people wonder why there is money spent to put meters in location where they are not even making money and not being used and why
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are we changing areas that are not problematic and why are we changing areas in our city and making money. where are we spending the current dollars. the push back comes from many of my constituents who are wondering why we are doing things in this way and we are asking for more money where we are not efficiently spending what we currently have. if i'm asking folks in my community to support something like this, i want to feel confident about how we are using the existing dollars in our transportation system. yes, muni is a problem. it's always been a problem. but i will tell you since i was a kid to now, people who probably haven't been here as long as i have don't realize how much more cleaner muni is, how much more efficient muni is. but unfortunately because our population is growing considerably we are limited and we are not going to be
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able to keep up with the increase. the housing rate is increasing to another level. we have to aggressively invest because in the past we haven't done that. we haven't invested in muni enough to keep up with the needs of our constituents throughout the city. it is important that we provide additional revenue to support that system. but we also need to provide clarity and an explanation to folks about how we are spending dollars and make changes accordingly because that has been a challenge. things like listening to the public about changes to the 5 l or listening to the public about changes, that's how you build and support the community and listening to what they need and developing more efficient ways to spending our money and
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making it clear that we are spending what we have in the right way for the right reasons so that we can ask for support for something of this nature. that's my biggest concern is that people feel like in this city on many instances, not just transportation, but in other areas, they feel like we are being nickelled and dimed not just by the transportation but by the cost-of-living in general. i want to make sure we are doing what we can to provide the right message and we are able to articulate how efficiently we are spending the current money that we have in our budgets. >> supervisor mar? >>supervisor eric mar: i was expecting to listen to the whole presentation and i know we keep up bringing up issues that you are raising. i really appreciate the balancing you have to do on the capital needs on the various ballot measures that will come in the future. my interest is to make sure that safety is
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prioritized that pedestrian and bicycle plans and strategies that we've developed over years are really seriously being implemented and funded. and i think one of the key things also is there is a number of disabled activist and seniors with us today and the economic boom that's driving the additional revenue is also leading to displacement and many people really suffering in the city. so my hope is that we focus on services whether it's free muni for lower income seniors and other types of service supports so that we are really supporting the riders that really need the help the most. i'm worried if we are making everything contingent on the provision of ballot measures. i think everyone has to rally and support these revenue measures. i'm hoping that as you get to the bicycle strategy and i know that you have these slides and you
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pointed to the pedestrian strategies that much of it is going to be funded not just in line items for what is called pedestrian or bicycling, but also in some of the other line items too, but i guess for me to come out of this hearing, i need to know specifics about what we are doing now as we buildup to november but not to wait until november passing as well. >> thank you. that's a good segway into next part of the presentation. what ielg -- i will say as an overview, many of the dollars that we have in the capital budget we don't have a lot of discretion. we get a lot for transit funds which are only for rails and overhead lines. the fleet money we get for vehicle replacement are only for transit vehicle replacement. the central subway money we get is only for the central
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subway. i hear your point that we don't want to only rely on the new revenues for the new bike and ped safety stuff. the new revenue is where we have complete discretion as a city to how we spend those. the existing available resources to do some of the good and important things that you mention that we absolutely want to do, we just don't have those revenues. so one of the things that we do have to balance is we are trying to address affordability issues on the one side to the extent that we are addressing those and those are further eroding our revenues. that is part of the balance that we have to achieve. so we are prioritizing safety with the dollars that we have, but as you will see in these numbers, the new revenues would allow us to really step up our commitment to particularly to bike and pedestrian safety which we otherwise don't really have or haven't been able to find the resources to
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do. your point is very well taken. so kind of going to the next slide, speaking of the new revenues, these are what would hit our budget in the next 2 years should she's measures pass. as i said a big chunk of the additional fund revenues will be going to street resurfacing, but a big chunk of the general obligation bond will comfort muni rapid next work. those are some of the funds that will be used right away and for the vehicle overhaul to deal with the crowding issues. we would also again this is where some of the complete streets, the safe street dollars would come from. so in terms to focus again on muni in terms of the capital budget, really 3 buckets here. one, are those improvement in
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the public right-of-way that would help muni run better in the streets of transit signal priority, it's dedicated or transit only lanes. it's bus bulbs so the buses don't have to fight with traffic to get in. it's more ada accessible stops on our light rail system. the second bucket is the fleet. we have not been doing the mid-life overhaul of the vehicles that the manufactures recommend and that's why we have such anemic performance of these vehicles at the end of life. these vehicles would allow us to do that. in our plan as a replacement in the next 5 years the balance of the entire fleet, the rest of the 700 buses. 200 more in the next 2 years as well as starting to increase the size of the fleet in terms of the buses and light rail vehicles. i mentioned by 2018 we should
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have new light rail vehicles. a pretty significant increase. then there is the infrastructure that the whole system relies upon. it's the facilities, the rails, the stations, the elevators, the escalators. >>supervisor london breed: one of the things we talked about last year and the increase and number of trains we hope to have out in the streets and i brought this up last year and i'm not hearing it as part of the dialogue but the expense of new employees that come with the drivers who will be driving these trains and whether or not we are prepared to deal with that. i'm wondering if that's part of the discussion at all moving
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forward? >> yes. it's absolutely a part. you will see when we get to the operating budget side. we are proposing a service increase which requires not just operators but maintenance mechanics, car cleaners, more supervisor and more trainers. when you look at that constellation of cost. within our budget now we believe we can afford it. how much we dial that up versus how many other things we do that detract from our revenues and what the future holds for us in terms of our future revenues. absolutely we can't talk about putting more busses on the streets without hiring people for those. >> what are we doing to
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hiring locally. >> we are working with the enforcement development through transit operators and through them we access a lot of the local community based organization who do the workforce development who get the word out. a lot of the folks who come in to the agency many of them are local. we would be happy to work with your office or anyone else. we talked about it recently in terms of helping to get the word out. just to keep up with attrition of an operator base of 2000 operators. we are always hiring and if we are going to be adding service, we are going to be hiring a lot more. we have greater opportunity. it's a very difficult job but it's a great career and very well compensated. we would love to get as many san franciscans as we can. >> i think muni has done best
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at hiring than most local departments. >> yeah, muni has provided jobs for many san franciscans. >> i would like you to have a contest to see who wins over hiring locally. >> mr. riskin, can you talk about the status of replacing the control system. when it's going to be replaced. i know that's a major problem in the subway in terms of it can only accommodate a certain number of cars at once? >> yeah. right now what we have is basically the old control systems, the old switches that were put in place . quite a long time ago there is now an over lay of a modern
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control system. what we are in the process of doing is moving that underlying system which is one modern system and upgrading the modern system we have to current standards. there is a lot of different moving pieces to that. there is a project in process. the final point which we are calling the final cut over when all of those streams come together. i believe sometime within the next 12 months. we are happy to get to the current specific tart rates. that coincides to the communication system. there is a lot going on behind-the-scenes with the technology and radio system that will help us better manage the service and eliminate some of the failures. we do have a lot of vehicle and system failures that are due to control system failures and many of which would be addressed by this new system. i think it's within the next 12 months.
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>> that's good to hear. i would like more information on that because when we look at the population growth that supervisor breed talked about and along market and more pressure on the subway, i know there is a lot of concern that the subway already has trouble handling the current rider ship and let alone increases and i know with the fleet we'll have more vehicles, but if the system can't handle that, it would be a problem. i would love to have more information. i'm glad to hear it's going to be in the next 12 months. the other question was supervisor breed was asking about hiring operators. i know there is a real bottleneck in terms of training and training the trainers. can you talk about how we are doing in terms of clearing that bottle neck.
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>> we had made some good progress a year ago in terms of staffing up our training division to increase the blueprint on bringing new operators but then we lost a lot of folks from training. so we are now recovering again. we a month or so added 15 additional trainers and this is on top of 40 or 50 and we are about to add 15 more. that is what you will see in our operating budget. we are starting classes of 30 operators to 4 weeks and that was from 12-15 operators in 8 weeks. we are just now at the beginning of starting the ramp
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up. a number of trainers we are bringing on for an 18-month period to get us over this hump of catching back up and then we'll probably drop down to a new steady state. we are addressing it now. i can't say that we have fixed it but we are beginning to ramp up on both sides. >> can you give us a time line to say how soon muni will have that. the worst is the lower rider ship. i can't tell you a number of times where i get e-mails from constituents from 37 or 52 or one of these lower rider ship lines where there was an hour gap between buses and i asked john why that
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happens and he says we don't have enough drivers. i understand there is a real focus on the rider ship. when do you think it's going to be resolved? >> it's about an 18-month window and there is a surge of training and that will be replacement training. that will put us roughly on the calendar of 2015. we should start being able to chip away at those missed runs due to not having an operator for them. we won't have to wait 18 months for that to manifest itself, in other words. >> thank you. >> so another focus and this is back to supervisor mar's point is the safety in our streets. again the no. 1 priority in our strategic plan is focusing on vision zero
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and we'll get more into that. these are kind of four key things that we are doing, implementing vision zero, planning the biking strategy and the program by which we attach ourselves to the paving programs where we can add at much less cost and disruption enhancement such as bulb outs and crosswalks and conduits for a traffic signal. that is an official way for us to get our work done and focus on education. we started to focus on education campaigns. a lot of the challenges on the streets are not just solved by design or enforcement. there is behavioral we have to
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change. so that's a part of that. in terms of bicycle and pedestrian safety funding, i know from this board from my board, from members of the public there is an i am mperative for us to do more. it's not enough that people are dying on the streets. what we anticipate and this does anticipate the revenues from this november, but would be a very significant increase in investments to our streets for bicycle and pedestrian safety. i know we'll hear from folks that this is not enough and i would love to see these numbers be even greater but i want to see a perspective that this will put us on a course that is significantly higher and greater investment than
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we've ever had before. by focusing on the most critical areas first by supervisor breed's point to focus on the need is to get the biggest bang for the buck with whatever dollars we do have. in terms of walk first, which is this inter agency very data driven analytical process to develop basically a capital assessment plan, the first part of that is vision zero walk first had identified both the kind of entire scope of work we need to do with the high injury corridors and also near the terms that we could do by paint or timing so we can get projects in the ground before the capital project process catches up. so we are including the 24 projects in
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24 months. we have 17 million that we can now with certainty commit, but that would nearly triple the 50 $50 million with the november revenue. we are not waiting. we are moving on the 24 as well as keep going on the ped safety work where we have been doing where the walk safety analysis suggest we should work with. we should be able to do more with the november revenue should they become available. if you look the entire walk first program it's roughly $240 million price tag. if you look in our 5-year cip and you look together at the pedestrian safety line item, the traffic calming line item and the school line item, we have just about half of that for our 5-year cip. if you consider all of those towards
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walk first, some do more directly than say the traffic calming. but it's all as i said before oriented towards pedestrian safety. we have half of the 10-year funding we need in the first five 5 years which is more or less on track and again because we are focusing on the highest injury corridors sections first we are getting early on in the walk of the implementation. even though it's half of the funding, we get more than half of the benefit because we are focusing that money where the collisions are the greatest. these are some of the elements that it is a lot of what we are talking about is engineering, the design changes in the street. but we are working with the ta and others on education components and continuing to support the police department in their